54. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the funding of €100,000 available to community and voluntary organisations to promote dialogue on the future of Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14022/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The funding to which the Deputy refers is the Communicating Europe Initiative. This year’s grant scheme was launched by the Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, TD on 8th March last, coinciding with the Regional Citizen’s Dialogue on the Future of Europe in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. This year, funding up to a total of €100,000 will be available to voluntary organisations, educational bodies and civil soc...

23. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which efforts are ongoing within the European Union to address the issue of Euroscepticism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11577/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Euroscepticism is not new but in recent years it has become more vocal. In the Rome Declaration of March last year, EU Heads of State and Government pledged ‘to listen and respond to the concerns expressed by our citizens’ and to “address the challenges of a rapidly changing world. ”Having gone through a series of crises in recent years, including the Eurozone crisis, terror attacks, Migration and Brexit, the EU is now...

26. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia continue to receive cooperation and support from the European Union; the extent to which Ireland’s trade with such countries can be enhanced post Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11581/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Eastern Partnership Initiative provides a framework for cooperation between the EU and six countries in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood, including Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. The aims of the Eastern Partnership are to promote peace and stability in the region and to enhance economic and political integration between the participating countries and the EU. The model of cooperation with each of the participating sta...

30. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which interested persons from County Kildare and surrounding counties can contribute to the ongoing dialogue on the future of Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3564/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): As the Deputy will be aware, the Taoiseach launched the Citizens’ Dialogue on the future of Europe in November. The dialogue was established to address the needs and concerns of Irish citizens on the future direction of the European Union and the feedback from these sessions will help formulate our own contribution to the wider European debate. My colleague the Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., is leadin...

54. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which the EU continues to foster good relations with Georgia and Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3896/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The EU continues to foster good relations with Ukraine and Georgia. Both countries are active participants in the EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative which provides a framework for cooperation with the six countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. The EU has ratified Association Agreements with Georgia and Ukraine which aim to promote political association and economic integration with the Union based on share...

61. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which all member states in the EU contiue to adhere to EU rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3909/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Member States have the primary responsibility for the correct transposition, application and implementation of EU law. This effective application of EU law is essential to ensure that citizens and businesses enjoy the benefits and meet the obligations established by EU law.The European Commission is responsible for ensuring that EU law is complied with. If the European Commission considers that a Member State is not appl...

148. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of recent EU efforts to address issues relating to the rule of law in Hungary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1503/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): On 7 December 2018, the European Commission announced that it was referring Hungary to the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to three ongoing infringement proceedings. The first, also involving Poland and the Czech Republic, relates to the mandatory relocation issue and the failure to take refugees in accordance with the September 2015 Justice and Home Affairs Council Decision. The other two referrals ...

149. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of recent EU efforts to address issues relating to the rule of law in Poland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1504/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Dialogue has been ongoing between the European Commission and Poland regarding the Rule of Law since January 2016.
The Commission on 20 December 2017 adopted three complementary measures (i) a proposal to the Council under Art. 7(1) TEU on the risk of a serious breach by a Member State of EU values (ii) a 4th rule of law recommendation identifying concrete actions Poland should take including two new measures relating to...

54. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised the EU Ombudsman report on unpaid internships in the European External Action Service with his EU colleagues; if he will recommend action on the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54136/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): As I noted in my response to the Deputy regarding this matter on 13 July 2017, the EU Ombudsman report on unpaid internships in the European External Action Service is an “own initiative” report that has not been the subject of formal discussion among EU foreign ministers. I noted also that the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission Mogherini has respo...

75. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which efforts are ongoing within the European Union to address the issue of euroscepticism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53488/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Euroscepticism is not new but in recent years it has become stronger and more vocal. In the Rome Declaration of March this year, EU Heads of State and Government pledged ‘to listen and respond to the concerns expressed by our citizens’ and to “address the challenges of a rapidly changing world.”
The EU has emerging from a period of crisis and is moving forward to a new more positive phase. The setback suffered by populi...

239. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to outline the status of efforts being made by the EU to ensure that the rule of law and European principles and ideals are being adhered to in Poland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50372/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Union is a community of shared values, committed to defending democracy, human rights and the rule of law. At both the May and September General Affairs Councils, Ireland along with a large number of other Member States, stressed the importance of the Rule of Law and urged renewed dialogue between Poland and the Commission. I hope that progress can be made through further dialogue between Poland and the Commission, with...

240. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to outline the status of efforts being made by the EU to ensure that the rule of law and European principles and ideals are being adhered to in Hungary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50373/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Union is a community of shared values, committed to defending democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The current situation in Hungary was extensively debated in the European Parliament on 26 April last, at which time the First Vice-President of the European Commission Timmermans and Prime Minister Orbán made extensive contributions to the debate.
Fundamental values and the rule of law are a shared EU interest and c...

116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which EU relations with Ukraine and Georgia continue to be positive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48674/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The EU continues to have positive relations with Ukraine and Georgia. Both countries are active participants in the EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative which provides a framework for cooperation with the six countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. Both Georgia and Ukraine worked with the EU to develop concrete proposals for the period up to 2020, captured in the document “Eastern Partnership - 20 Deliverables for 2020”...

117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which positive relations continue to be generated between the EU and Armenia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48675/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Union continues to have positive relations with Armenia. Armenia participates in the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative which provides a framework for co-operation with the six countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. Armenia has worked with the EU and the other Eastern Partners to develop concrete proposals for the period up to 2020, captured in the document “Eastern Partnership - 20 Deliverables for 2020...

438. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on discussions with his French counterpart on democratic conventions across the EU on the future of the EU. (Question 46206/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 438 and 439 together.
In his speech at the Sorbonne University in September President Macron of France set out his vision for the Future of Europe. Among his proposals was one in relation to the holding of democratic conventions across the EU. Specifically, he proposed that for six months in 2018, debates would be organised in all EU Member States that chose to participate, “on the same issues” iden...

439. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the mechanism on which the democratic conventions on the future of the EU will take place here; the person or the body that will be coordinating same; and if outside assistance will be required. (Question 46207/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 438 and 439 together.
In his speech at the Sorbonne University in September President Macron of France set out his vision for the Future of Europe. Among his proposals was one in relation to the holding of democratic conventions across the EU. Specifically, he proposed that for six months in 2018, debates would be organised in all EU Member States that chose to participate, “on the same issues” iden...

924. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of EU level developments regarding reauthorising glyphosate. (Question 46239/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): As you will be aware the Commission prepared a first draft of a proposal for renewal of the approval of glyphosate and this was discussed by Member State representatives at the technical experts standing committee meeting in July and again in early October. 
The draft Commission proposal tabled at these meetings was to renew the approval of glyphosate for a 10-year period, instead of the normal 15-year period but also attachin...

49. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the action he is taking at EU level to promote the need for persons living in one EU member state to be allowed to purchase financial services products such as home loans and business loans from financial institutions based in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42280/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The EU treaties provide for the free movement of capital and services between EU Member States.  As part of this EU common market for financial services, the “passporting” provisions in the Capital Requirements Directive IV (as transposed in Ireland through the European Union (Capital Requirements) Regulations 2014 - SI 158/2014), enable a licensed credit institution in another EEA jurisdiction to offer banking services/products to Irish residents. ...

289. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on President Juncker’s plan for a more united, stronger and democratic union, in particular plans in relation to further enhancing subsidiary proportionality and better regulation in the daily operation of the European Union. (Question 39668/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 290 together.
The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker made his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday 13 September. In a wide-ranging speech President Juncker touched on multiple issues on the EU agenda including Climate Change, Trade, Industrial Policy, Migration, the Single Market, the Digital Agenda, the Eurozone, the Sc...

290. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the state of the union speech by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, in the European Parliament on 14 September 2017 (details supplied); and his views on these suggestions. (Question 39798/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 290 together.
The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker made his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday 13 September. In a wide-ranging speech President Juncker touched on multiple issues on the EU agenda including Climate Change, Trade, Industrial Policy, Migration, the Single Market, the Digital Agenda, the Eurozone, the Sc...

107. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Finance the name of the person nominated by the State to the European Union expert committee on illicit trade in tobacco; and the extent to which he has verified that this person has no conflicts of interest. (Question 35178/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I presume that the Deputy is referring to the European Commission Expert Group on the Fight against Illicit Trade in Tobacco, established in 2017 under the aegis of the European Anti-Fraud Office.
I am advised by Revenue that Ireland will be represented at the Expert Group by an officer of its Investigations and Prosecutions Division, and that the person concerned has no conflicts of interest.
 ...

197. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which particular emphasis is placed on efforts within the European Union to address the issue of euroscepticism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33505/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The issue of euroscepticism is not new but in recent years it has become stronger and more vocal. That is why this year in the Rome Declaration of 25 March, the leaders of the 27 Members States and of the EU Institutions pledged ‘to listen and respond to the concerns expressed by our citizens’ and committed to offering citizens ‘both security and new opportunities’. In this regard, a key priority for the Government is to ensure that...

250. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the situation in Hungary; the efforts being made at EU level to address issues such as the curtailment of the media and violations of democratic norms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31026/17 asked on 04 Jul 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
The foundations of the Rule of Law process are contained in the Treaties and these foundations have been strengthened successively with the establishment of the EU Rule of Law Framework in 2014.
The current situation in Hungary was extensively discussed in a debate in the European Parli...

129. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if a company (details supplied) can have EU secret clearance certificates issued to it; and the reason that at present only State employees are granted EU secret clearance certificates here. (Question 23168/17 asked on 16 May 2017 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The company to which the Deputy refers in his question has been in correspondence with me and I will respond directly to them in respect of the matters they have raised. EU clearance is a matter arranged through Ireland’s National Security Authority which is based in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It was established in order to provide clearance for Government officials and Defence Forces personnel engagi...

619. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the fines the State currently pays for breach of EU law; the annual amount of each fine; the amount paid to date, the reason for each fine, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19648/17 asked on 02 May 2017 - EU Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The State is not currently subject to any fines for breaches of EU law. 
The responsibility for transposing EU legislation into Irish law rests with those Departments with responsibility for the policy areas covered by those measures. In this regard, the Government places high priority across Departments on timely transposition of EU legislation to reduce the risks of financial penalties being levied. 
 ...